Nishnawbe Women in Leadership and Self Government

Since 1999, the Nishnawbe Women and Self Government program has been providing workshops and information on self government to women who reside within Northwestern Ontario First Nation communities.

The goals of the Nishnawbe Women & Self Government projects are:


Jan 2008 - March 2009 Building Aboriginal Women's Leadership Project. Activities: Aboriginal Women's Leadership Forum (May 27 & 28, 2008), 3 Leadership Camps (Mishkeegogamang - July 29-31, Ojibway Nation of Saugeen - Aug 19-21 & Lac Seul - Oct 28-31), Equay-wuk Gathering 2008 (To be announced). * Representation of women in leadership: 27% of Chiefs and Councillors in NAN are women.

May-July 2007 Starting a First Nations Women's Group Project. Workshops in Mishkeegogamang, Keewaywin and Neskantaga.

Nishnawbe Women in Leadership & Self Government Project Oct 2006. Equay-wuk Fall Gathering 2006 in Sioux Lookout.

Nishnawbe Women in Leadership 2005 Workshops in Sioux Lookout Dec 2005 & Jan 2006 to provide information to women about running in First Nation elections.

Oct 2005 Nishnawbe Women in Leadership Project begins. Activities: a public education campaign to promote women's participation in leadership. Project featured current aboriginal women leaders. Development of a First Nation Women's Election Handbook (Running in First Nations Elections).

June 2005 Equay-wuk receives an Honourable Mention Award from the Ontario Federal Council (OFC), Leadership through Collaboration Award. Award given for achievements and collaboration on the self government projects with the Status of Women Canada (Lisa:) and Department of Canadian Heritage (Paul:).

November 22-26, 2004 The first ever NAN Women's Gathering was held in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Between 62 -111 persons attended women's gathering. The event was hosted by Equay-wuk (Women's Group) and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN). Formation of the NAN Women's Council and the Eastern NAN Women's Group. * Representation of women in leadership: 24% of Chiefs and Councillors in NAN are women

April 27-29, 2004 Eastern NAN Women & Self Government Workshop, Timmins, Ontario. Election and formation of the Eastern Women's Support Group.

Feb 24-26, 2004 Women reps at the NAN Chief's meeting in Timmins, Ontario.

July 29-31, 2003 Women's Working Group Reps (East and West) make presentations at the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Chiefs Keewaywin Conference held in Ginoogaming & Long Lake 58 First Nations. NAN Chiefs pass NAN resolution 03/82 to "allow involvement of women's reps in the decision-making process of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation". NAN Resolution 03/75 passed by the Chiefs to support the continued work by Equay-wuk to seek funding to organize women in the eastern NAN region to participate in the Women's Working Group at NAN, to provide self govt workshops, to organize a gathering of eastern women. Upon the Western women rep's recommendation, the proposed NAN Elders Council will be composed of an equal number of men and women.

May 2003 Nishnawbe Women's Leadership Forum May 13-15. A gathering of First Nation women Chiefs & Councillors in Sioux Lookout. Guest Speakers: Dr. Emily Faries, Chief Margaret Penasse-Mayer, Gloria Harris and Dr. Cora Voyageur.

Dec 2002 Equay-wuk Gathering in Sioux Lookout.

August 6-8, 2002 Equay-wuk/NAN Women's Working Group Delegation attend the NAN Chief’s meeting at the Keewaywin Conference held at Chapleau Cree & Brunswick House First Nations. * Representation of women in leadership: 21% of Chiefs and Councillors in NAN are women

May 2002 Equay-wuk/ NAN Women's Working Group Meeting, Sioux Lookout.

March 2002 Nishnawbe Aski Nation Resolution 02/04 passed at Chiefs meeting - Representation of Women at Nishnawbe Aski Nation Chiefs meetings.

2001 Self Government & Youth Workshops

2001-2  Self Government workshops continue. Survey of women’s issues to Equay-wuk members.  Development of a ‘Working Group’ on women and self government issues.

2000  Development of a “Training Manual for Educating and Empowering Nishnawbe Women on Self Government Initiatives”.  Distributed to women from 30 First Nation communities. * Representation of women in leadership: 15% of Chiefs and Councillors in NAN are women

1999  Equay-wuk begins the “Nishnawbe Aski Women Participate in First Nations Self Government” Project. Workshops provide education and awareness about Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s (NAN) Self Government initiative to women from 30 remote First Nation communities. * Representation of women in leadership: 12% of Chiefs and Councillors in NAN are women

1998  Barriers to women’s participation in First Nations governing structures were identified during the “Leadership for the Future Forum”.

1992  “Developing Partnerships between Women and Political Leadership Conference” exposed and addressed the need for women to participate in First Nations Self Government.


For more information:

Darlene A., Project Coordinator

Tel: (807) 737-2214 or toll free (800) 261-8294 Fax (807) 737-2699


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